Self sufficient. Independent. Modern. Those are some the characteristics of the New Woman. Is she realistic? Well, yes and no. The New Woman was a symbol after the war, and very few women were able to make her a reality for themselves. An ideal new woman is one who “refuses to lead the life of a lady and a housewife, preferring to depart from the ordained path and go her own way” (Hermann, 33). Hermann described this new woman as being a complete polar opposite as the traditional woman before her. Before the war, the expectations of women were simply to stay at home and do the chores and take care of the children. Her main concern was of the future. After the war, women were idealized into something they had never been before. They were concerned, for once, with themselves, their happiness, their pleasure. Their focus, as Hermann describes, “the woman of today is oriented exclusively toward the present” (34, Hermann). Traditional women’s lives were focuses completely around family life. They dreamed of the future even as little girls. They were practical, always planning and saving expenses when they could. In contrast, the new woman was concerned with the here and the now. She was, in some cases, impulsive. Her needs and wants came first and independence, social and financial, were her goals. She was in charge of the direction of her life, and no one else. The new woman brought into light a variety of characteristics that were considered new to women. These characteristics included becoming self sufficient, independent, refusing to be undermined by men, and she was to certain people, unfeminine. She is unfeminine because she pulls away from the traditional role of being cooped up in the house, and makes a living for herself elsewhere. Although the new woman was a symbol which most all women wanted to live up to, essentially she was a fantasy to most. A social construction. She was what everyone wanted to be, but only the very privileged were able to live out. The majority of the women were not in strong enough financial or social standing to be able to live up to these ideals. To be modern was the goal, to be traditional was the reality.